Shelter and settlements

Shelter is about human dignity, safety & privacy

Our activities

What we do in shelter

One housing sector approach The Red Cross Movement is involved since decades in providing shelter...

Coordinating shelter activities

Humanitarian reform and the cluster approach In 2005 the leading international humanitarian...

The technical guidance we provide

To meet agreed standards and best practices the International Federation of Red Cross and Red...

Supporting the people who do shelter

To support the provision of shelter assistance after major disasters requiring international...

How we do shelter

'Sheltering' is a process – not just a 'product'

Shelter library: Publications

The Shelter department library is an archive that contains technical guidance and numerous ...

What is shelter and settlements?

In the early stages of an emergency, shelter, is a critical determinant of survival, along with water supply, sanitation, food and healthcare. Shelter plays an essential role in reducing vulnerability and building communities’ resilience. The IFRC supports Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in the areas of risk reduction through safer construction practices and sustainable construction of human settlements both before and after disasters. In addition, the IFRC is co-lead of the Global Shelter Cluster, tasked to coordinate the shelter response after natural disasters.

We consider that shelter is not just a matter of building a ‘product’ – but rather a ‘process’ whereby people can improve their own homes, and engage to create a safe and secure environment. The ‘sheltering process’ is a continuum between humanitarian action and long term development, and must include other essential facilities such as social & education services, access to market and responsible use of natural resources.

The Shelter Effect is a campaign on how a safe home can change everything.

Floods, cyclones, earthquakes and urban risks are increasing. Sustainable shelter can reduce the impact of disasters, and small improvements of living conditions enable better education and health. This is the path to safe shelter. This is the shelter effect.



Focus on Haiti

Read more on the reconstruction in Haiti.

Our activities

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright